Collateral Damage: How the War on Terror Hurts Charities, Foundations, and the People They Serve

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Date: 
May 11, 2009

This paper, published in July 2008, is the result of collaborative research conducted by OMB Watch and Grantmakers Without Borders. It provides a history of application of national security laws to U.S. charities post 9/11 and an anlaysis of the problems the PATRIOT Act and other post 9/11 legal measures have created. 

The report argues that since Sept. 11, 2001 counterterrorism programs have eroded the freedom and ability of charities and their funders to carry out their missions and improve the lives of the world's people. The authors hope this paper will serve as a resource for charities, foundations, and policymakers as they seek to understand the impacts that counterterrorism measures have on charities and as they look to develop more equitable policies that protect the inherent rights of charities and the people the organizations serve.

This paper is the result of collaborative research conducted by OMB Watch and Grantmakers Without Borders. These authors note, "We believe charities in the United States and throughout the world play a key role in democratic systems by giving citizens a vehicle for participation, providing tools and information that help people get involved, and delivering assistance to those in need. Since Sept. 11, 2001, we have witnessed counterterrorism programs erode the freedom and ability of charities and their funders to carry out their missions and improve the lives of the world's people. We believe that this is damaging civil society in the United States and negatively impacting the nation's reputation and effectiveness on the global stage. We hope this paper will serve as a resource for charities, foundations, and policymakers as they seek to understand the impacts that counterterrorism measures have on charities and as they look to develop more equitable policies that protect the inherent rights of charities and the people the organizations serve."

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